The Netherlands is famous for its progressive stance on gender equality, sexual diversity and gender diversity. Everyone in the Netherlands has the right to be who he or she wants to be and to be with whomever they want to be, as long as they do no harm to others.

According to the majority of the Dutch population, it shouldn’t matter whether you are male, female or transgender, heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. However, that doesn’t mean that the process of female, male, gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender emancipation is complete.

Even here in the Netherlands, whether you are a man or a woman is sometimes an issue. For example, just half of women are financially independent compared to three-quarters of men.

Whether you are happy being labelled a ‘man’ or a ‘woman’ also is an issue in the Netherlands. Labour market participation is very low among the transgender community, and many transgender people have psychological problems. Sexual preference is also not a non-issue.

Heterosexual couples can walk hand-in-hand along the street without a second look. However, this is not the case for gay couples, especially men. For this reason, most homosexuals avoid doing so.

Emancipation project & ambassadors

In 2015, Nuffic launched an Emancipation Project on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The aim was to educate international students about equality, emancipation, sexual diversity, gender diversity and associated themes and increase acceptance of lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people.

As part of this project, we trained 12 international students as emancipation ambassadors. On 30 March 2016, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker received a booklet about the project’s results and met the emancipation ambassadors.

For more background information, download our factsheets about gender diversity, gender equality and sexual diversity in the Netherlands.

Gender diversity in the Netherlands
Gender equality in the Netherlands
Sexual diversity in the Netherlands